Fluorescent nanodiamond is a new nanomaterial that possesses several useful properties, including good biocompatibility, excellent photostability and facile surface functionalizability. Moreover, when excited by a laser, defect centres within the nanodiamond emit photons that are capable of penetrating tissue, making them well suited for biological imaging applications. Here, we show that bright fluorescent nanodiamonds can be produced in large quantities by irradiating synthetic diamond nanocrystallites with helium ions. The fluorescence is sufficiently bright and stable to allow three-dimensional tracking of a single particle within the cell by means of either one- or two-photon-excited fluorescence microscopy. The excellent photophysical characteristics are maintained for particles as small as 25 nm, suggesting that fluorescent nanodiamond is an ideal probe for long-term tracking and imaging in vivo, with good temporal and spatial resolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering